Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beware - I'm Venting

I am the assistant to the director of the facility I work in. This is a wonderful position that I love and has some wonderful benefits, namely:
  • I really do enjoy my job
  • My boss treats me like I'm a human with feelings
  • My boss knows that I'll get my work done and doesn't breathe down my neck
  • My boss has 4 boys all under the age of 13 at home and understands if something happens at home (sick kid or otherwise) that it's a parent's duty to go take care of the situation, whatever it may be - and whether or not I have time to take (vacation or PTO)
On the flip side of this, the position has some definite drawbacks, namely:
  • Sometimes I'm so busy I can't even think straight
  • I supply administrative assistance to two and sometimes three other departments and/or people - depending on what is currently the hot topic
  • People seem to always assume that I work in Human Resources; I do not
  • Folks assume that I know everything there is to know about everything that goes on here; I do not
  • Sometimes it's up to me to keep my mouth shut about stuff that doesn't need to be public knowledge
These things are not earth-shattering, I-hate-my-job, I-quit, walk-out-the-door-in-a-huff drawbacks, they're just a fact relating to the particular position I hold. I know this. But sometimes I get into a situation, like today where someone questioned me directly about something I was not at liberty to discuss with that person. Information that he shouldn't even have an inkling about to begin with! So first of all, how did this person KNOW to ask me? I know good and well that he didn't get it from me because I hardly ever talk to him in the first place! There are definitely factors involved that could have "leaked" to this person through others within the building, but anyone who knew about this subject also knew to keep their mouths shut about it, too! Secondly, I HATE to lie!!! So this put me in a position where I had to just say, "I'm sorry, I don't know anything," and leave it at that. The fact is that I do know something - but just bits and pieces - and I have been instructed that I should not discuss this "something" with anyone outside of the small circle of folks who are also in the know. I feel like I'm not making any sense, because I'm writing this just after "it" happened and I'm upset. I've called my boss so I could talk to him about it (I'm covering at the front desk for 3 days and so am not at my desk within easy screaming distance of my boss) and he said that he was going to a meeting and would have to call me when he got done. Writing this out was really an attempt to get the frustration out of my system before I went to my boss so I could try to discuss this with him without elevating the situation any more than it needs to be. The other thing is that IT REALLY ISN'T A BIG DEAL!!! I know this, too. But, I also know how it would look if "the powers that be" happened to see me talking to this person and then find out that he "knows" something he's not really supposed to "know"! I was purposeful, though, in having the conversation with this person in the front lobby, because our security guard was there through the entire thing and can be a very reliable witness to what I said, should that be necessary. I'm making this into something it doesn't need to be. It really is bugging me, though. I know good and darn well I haven't done anything wrong - but someone, somewhere did and it irks me that some bigmouth has broken the unspoken code. (Don't really know what that code is, but I know there has to be one or I wouldn't feel so awful about this.) I'm now waiting on New MD (my boss) to come down from a meeting on the 2nd floor so I can bombard him with my concerns. And, knowing New MD, he'll probably look at me and say, "Um, this is a big deal...why?" Or, he'll take the ball and run with it and handle "the situation" himself, taking me completely out of the picture in an effort to make sure that I don't find myself in an uncomfortable position again. He's a nice guy that way. So what am I doing to myself? Why am I working myself into a tizzy over something I KNOW will be seen as nothing by New MD? Sigh. I guess I just need to wait and find out what New MD says and go from there. Ok - now I've gotten it out of my system! TTFN JMS ----------------------------------------------------- UPDATE: I just talked to New MD and he said I handled the situation exactly right and that should I ever feel put in that position again that I can simply say, "Hey - that's above my pay grade! Talk to the man in the big chair!" (Here's me, wiping sweat off my forehead! I just was so convinced something was amiss - and, though it is, it's not something I need to worry about at all! Yay!) -----------------------------------------------------


Archeobot said...

I like you boss's line but also always remember this tried and true one:

"Even if I did have information about that I would not be at liberty to discuss it with ANYONE."

It is always tough when someone puts you in that position, but someone always will. Although taking the high road it tough on the stomach, once you do it a few times, people will stop asking too!

Karen Dypolt said...

I thought you did the right thing. It isnt lying. It is keeping your word to the code you have been given to work by.

There are always some like this. You just have to learn to handle them and you did just that!!!!

yourlonglostsister said...

Gee, I'm glad it wasn't me. I have to say, I know what you're getting at OR personal, it's tough to have to keep "secrets." I have something I found out a day or two ago; a secret about someone I know and really like and I can't tell anyone about it b/c it's just that BIG and it's KILLING me.... but at the same time, I wish I didn't know so I wouldn't have to feel weird about it to start with.

So my point is, I know what you mean and I would have been upset too... that kind of thing gets me all worked up.

You did the right thing. Even when they're SURE you know something, keep them guessing.

Hope your day went better afterwards.....